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Flaring Copper Fuel Line


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Old 01-04-2018, 08:36:33 AM
WalterE WalterE is offline
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Default Flaring Copper Fuel Line

My flares on copper fuel line have a low rate of success. I know the basics of flaring, but I'm wondering if there are any tricks. The old lines on my truck are single flared and work fine. The ones I flare, on the old tubing or new, always seem to leak.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:25:56 AM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Flaring copper fuel line

You may have to anneal the copper if it's work hardened. Heat until dull red and let it cool or cool it, it will be soft.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:28:15 AM
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Default Re: Flaring copper fuel line

Yup, heat it to a dull red then water quench it for a full anneal. As the flaring tools have a lot of power, don't over compress the flare area. This will work harden the zone
and that will be the fail point. Or you can anneal the area again.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:04:09 AM
WalterE WalterE is offline
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Default Re: Flaring Copper Fuel Line

So just because the tubing is easily bendable, doesn't mean it's soft enough to flare well?
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:44:34 AM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: Flaring Copper Fuel Line

I was told by many not to use copper for fuel, vibration will crack it.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:23:56 AM
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Default Re: Flaring Copper Fuel Line

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Originally Posted by WalterE View Post
So just because the tubing is easily bendable, doesn't mean it's soft enough to flare well?
Some copper tubing is presented as full annealed. Some comes off the mill work hardened and is packaged for sale.

Copper joints will eventually fail from work hardening stresses. And yes, never use copper for brake lines for that reason. Vibration also will hasten the failure points so we can say copper is a poor choice for plumbing. But heck, it's easy to work with, forms easily etc. and has worked for over 100 years. I put a copper fuel like with flares on an engine fuel system 40 years ago and last year one of the flares started to crack and it was leaking gas. I spose 40 years is ok huh. I replaced it with steel so I'll assume it'll last a lot longer than I will.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:28:20 PM
Glenn Ayers Glenn Ayers is offline
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Default Re: Flaring Copper Fuel Line

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Originally Posted by WalterE View Post
So just because the tubing is easily bendable, doesn't mean it's soft enough to flare well?
It will flare well ... but after this "working" ... then the copper is too hard to conform to the nipple & seal. It needs annealed again.


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Old 01-04-2018, 06:26:32 PM
Charley K Charley K is offline
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Default Re: Flaring Copper Fuel Line

It's true copper will work harden and fail, but back in the day there were thousands of copper flare fittings on chillers and refrigeration lines. Talking about vibration, I don't know how they lasted as long as they did. Repaired a few in my thirty years on a government facility. If possible, I would use fittings and silver solder, actually sil foss, to replace the flare joints. CK
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